My sisters didn’t argue with me when I said I would like to have Mother’s collection of vintage magazines, and I couldn’t believe they weren’t interested. The seeds of my love for these old ideas were sown in childhood, though I didn’t realize the depth of my love. I didn’t even realize that I was becoming a collector of works on vintage homemaking arts as I carried boxes of needlework and specialty magazines from the old family home.
I don’t think my mother considered herself a collector of vintage magazines. She just bought what she liked – and kept it. But – she was definitely a collector of vintage booklets. I am following in her footsteps and am indebted to her for her foresight. She would laugh if she knew.
As I moved into retirement, I found myself wanting more of these vintage ideas. I began to selectively invest in an old book here, a magazine there.
A few years ago, I ordered a vintage pattern from an online seller, and she included an unexpected bonus in the package – three issues of “Modern Priscilla.” It was very generous of her, I thought, and some months later she passed away. I couldn’t help but wonder if she was deliberately reducing her stock by giving some things away.
Anyway, “Modern Priscilla” was a homemaking and handwork magazine published from 1887 until 1930. (The publisher lost out in the Great Depression.) As I glanced through the January 1926 issue last week, I noticed an ad for “Clark’s O.N.T. Bag Book – 100 Designs for 10 Cents” for those who crochet and embroider. Buy from your dealer, read the ad, or send ten cents to the listed address and we’ll mail you a copy.
My curiosity immediately piqued, I searched for this pattern booklet online. Yes! I could have it for $10.00 plus shipping, and I had to have it! It came today, brightening a day when other plans had fallen through. I’m delighted with it.
Who knew they were making all these bags in 1925? Here are some of the categories:
Attractive Bags for the Business Woman
When Puzzled What to Give, Give a Bag
Afternoon Dress-up Bags that have Particular Charm
The Popular Utility Shopping Bag
The Kiddies Need Pretty Bags, Too
Gift Bags, Practical Bags, Bags of Great Beauty
Unusual Evening and Theatre Bags
For Hiking, Travel and School
Stunning Bags for Varied Uses
Work Bags Both Serviceable and Decorative
Bags for Household Use
Practical Shopping Bags and Hand Bags
Of course, some of the bags relate to obsolete uses. For example, I don’t need a bag for my corsets, a hiking knapsack that won’t hold a water bottle, or a laundry bag for my soiled collars. But, when it comes right down to it, a bag’s a bag. The crocheted briefcase looks for all the world like a laptop case. Evening bags are always useful. Unique handbags are in vogue again. And, of course, there’s the re-usable shopping bag.
I just might surprise everyone someday and make one or two of these bags. Until then – fascinating to look through this booklet. KW